Professional athletes are often observed soaking in ice bath machine after the competition. Maybe you have a friend who is a fitness nut, and they swear by ice baths for muscle soreness after a workout. Cryotherapy, the use of cold to treat medical conditions, includes cold-water plunges. This method has recently seen a resurgence in favor, but it is not novel. Taking a cold water dip has been a preventative health measure for ages.
For What Reasons Are Ice Baths Recommended?
Cryotherapy, in which the complete body is exposed for a short time to shallow temperatures, is more intense than an ice bath. Instead, people who want to cool off quickly dive into water between 50 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 to 10 minutes. Fans of the technique also take ice baths to alleviate stress and tight muscles. Investigate the scientific validity of the claims made to use ice baths.
It Alleviates Pain and Edoema
Taking an ice bath causes your blood vessels to constrict. This reduces the amount of blood flowing to your muscles, which may help bring down any swelling or irritation. And studies show that cold therapy is more effective than other approaches, like compression stockings, at reducing inflammation in the days following exercise.
It Helps With Muscle Pain
In some cases, a dip in a cold bath will help soothe aching muscles. Nobody knows for sure how it operates, even in the scientific community. However, reduced inflammation and slower nerve transmission may result in less pain. You may experience less discomfort or soreness if you drink cold water. Much research points to ice baths effectively reducing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after exercise.
However, the quality of the study was poor. Furthermore, there needs to be more consensus on the optimal conditions for taking an ice bath for muscle pain relief. There is some evidence that ice baths can also help with chronic pain. Arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia are all autoimmune diseases. More study is required to determine the long-term effects of ice baths on chronic pain.
Boosts Muscle Repair after Workouts
After emerging from an ice bath, your blood vessels will dilate, or re-open, allowing more blood to flow through your body. The increased delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles during exercise will aid in eliminating metabolic waste products. That’s why ice baths are so famous for post-workout recovery.
Some research supports the use of ice baths as restorative therapy. But are there more benefits than drawbacks? A 2021 analysis suggests that taking an ice dip lowers exercise-induced inflammation. According to the study authors, they may impede the training adaptations that underpin muscle growth and enhanced performance.
Endurance training may be affected by this potential side effect, but aerobic exercise is unlikely to. Two studies found that active recovery and cold baths similarly reduced inflammation. Therefore, active-recovery training may be better for achieving your muscle-building and strength-training goals.
Only some people are eager to take a refreshing dip in a freezing tub. However, the routine helps your physical and emotional well-being. Still, a cold bath isn’t necessarily the answer. While some studies have shown ice baths to be beneficial, others have found the opposite. This is some information you need to have.